Students who transfer to Mānoa, Hilo or West Oʻahu from Kapiʻolani Community College (pictured above) or any of the six other UH community colleges may be eligible for the reverse transfer program.

The University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges was named the recipient of a $434,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation as part of a multi-state initiative to help more students who have transferred from community colleges to four-year colleges and universities complete their associate degrees.

Hawaiʻi is one of 12 states to receive funding support, which totaled $6.4 million.

The initiative, called Credit When It’s Due: Recognizing the Value of the Quality Associate Degree, is supported by five national foundations that have joined forces to encourage partnerships of community colleges and universities to significantly expand programs that award associate degrees to transfer students when the student completes the requirements for the associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

The grant money will be used to improve the “reverse transfer” pilot program and scale up activities to include all seven community colleges, UH Mānoa, UH Hilo, UH West Oʻahu, and some private universities.

UH Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton emphasized the importance of systemizing how the university award’s associate degrees.

“58 percent of community college students transfer to public universities in Hawaiʻi without an associate’s degree,” said Morton. “With this grant, we will be able to improve and systemize the reverse transfer process to help individuals—especially those who stopped out of college before earning a bachelor’s degree—receive a college credential that they’ve already earned.”

Fall 2011 data indicated that 932 out of a total of 1,606 community college students transferred to either UH Mānoa, UH Hilo or UH West Oʻahu without receiving an associate’s degree.

Read the national news release from the Lumina Foundation.

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